So, by now you’ve probably heard that Instagram’s (IG) “LIKES” are starting to go away. Initially announced about 6 weeks ago by CEO of IG -Adam Mosseri, we are already seeing some accounts getting impacted within the last two weeks. If your page hasn’t switched over yet, it will soon enough.
For starters, why are IG “Likes” are going away?
According to the experts of IG, the main reason for this change has everything to do with improving mental health for millions of people who use the platform. They want to help stop users from stressing and worrying about being liked or validated with amount of likes they get on posts.
So, what does this mean for each one of us and how can we strategize as Brands, Influencers, and Businesses?
What we know so far…
- Australia/Canada saw their “Likes” disappear during Summer/2019 have re-strategized
- In the US, some users got their “Likes” taken away after they upgraded the IG app. So, I would avoid upgrading the IG app. if you’re not ready for the change.
- IG is calling this change a test; so it may not end up being permanent.
- Once the change happens, you should still be able to see the likes of your own content. You only wont be able to view the likes of other accounts.
How can Brands & Businesses check an influencer’s engagement level without IG likes?
1. Request Stats From Influencer
As a brands or a business, you can still find out the amount of “Likes” an influencer gets by requesting it directly from the influencer. Ask the influencer to take a screenshot of his/her relevant posts and share it with you. This shouldn’t be an issue since he/she will still have access to view his/her own account stats after the likes go away.
2. Pay Attention To Influencer’s Comments on Posts
You may also want to consider checking the “Comments” section of influencer’s posts since the “Comments” section will still be available. It’s not easy, but definitely possible to make an educated guess about the authenticity of “Followers” and “Likes” based on the “Comments” of the posts. I am always able to tell the “real” from “fake” by observing likes/comments and comparing it to the number of the follower-base.
3. Quality of Comments Is Key
Another important area to pay attention to is the quality of the comments on posts of the influencer. You want to check to see that not all the comments are emoji’s alone or one worded comments (sometimes purchased rather than organic). If you’re seeing “Comments” that are interactive, relative to the post, and come off as authentic than this may be a good indication that the influencer is worth working with.
As an Influencer how can you get more engagement now that “Likes” are going away?
1. Convert The Change of Heart Into a Change of Mind
If you are an IG Influencer and wondering what’s next for you don’t panic! First and most importantly understand how much more peace you’re getting without that constant worry of the amount of “Likes” your posts will get. Take advantage of this change and put your focus on producing content you love without having to worry about the validation it may/may-not get through “Likes”.
Personally, I agree this change can be really good for the people who post on IG because I have helped several new starter brands with managing their Instagram accounts and have observed how worry-some they became about getting/not-getting enough likes.
I also have two young nieces and am glad to know getting enough “Likes” will be the least of their worries as they start to get into Social Media 🙂
2. Get Busy Producing Quality Content
The first advice for Influencers is to really focus on producing content of quality. Quality is such a big key on social media. If you give people valuable content on consistent basis they will admire your work and care to support you back. This is why it’s important to give value rather than just post something to fill up the feed. A lot of the posts on my IG page Fit2fash have equal or double the number of “Saves” than “Likes/Comments”.
(See screenshot below – Post Insights taken from my IG account Fit2fash).
The red squares for each post above indicate the amount of times users “Saved” the video versus the green squares indicating the amount of times users “Liked” the same video. Getting large/larger amount of “Saves” helps me understand that my audience finds my content valuable/educational/useful or they wouldn’t have “Saved” it for later. Point being is that providing valuable content will allow your brand to get engagement without IG “Likes”. IG pays attention to these numbers and so do Brands/Businesses that consider working with you.
3. Dive Deep With Your Current Supporters
Start embracing your current engaged supporters if you aren’t already doing it. If there are a 100 people that consistently “Comment” and “Like” your content than make sure you nurture these people by being engaged with them as well. Reach out and thank them regularly. Support them back by being engaged with their accounts. I would personally send these people a direct message asking them if they would continue to support me by leaving “Comments” since the “Likes” are going away. You would be surprised at how much more support you’ll get by showing appreciation.
4. Give Some Love to Get Some in Return
If you like to upscale your account’s engagement level on IG, than make sure you are engaged with other accounts as well. Don’t expect any “Comments/Likes” if you don’t do any of that yourself. People have the tendency to reciprocate when they get support from you as well.
Now, this isn’t to say make thoughtless comments on every post across your feed just to gather numbers on your page. The “Comments” you leave should be authentic and also relative to the posts you’re commenting on. Read and get fully engaged with the post you’re commenting on.
Also consider posting mindful content with the caption of your posts to engage others. Ask questions, share your experiences, and try to get your audiences involved. Remember that being mindfully engaged is the whole point of viewing these posts in the first place.
5. Time to Revisit Your Call to Action (CTA) Strategy
If you’re trying to get sales or exposure for your blogs/articles, driving traffic from Instagram is an important measure of success.
Consider monitoring your click-through rate from your Instagram page to your website with a link in your IG bio tool like Smart.bio by Tailwind.
Smart.bio tool is free and allows you to list multiple links in your IG bio rather than the traditional one link allowed through the IG bio page. The tool displays your overall click-through rate, total link in bio page visitors, AND the lifetime count of clicks to each link all in one spot!
Your CTR will tell you which articles are doing well or not so well so can focus on creating blogs that resonate more closely with your followers.
Tap below to learn more about Smart.bio, and begin setting up your own free customizable landing page!
Additional information worth knowing
- You can still see the likes count from the desktop version of IG if your phone version has been affected.
- Video views are still going to remain the same. So it may be time to sharpen your video-graphing skills if you haven’t done that yet.
If you found this article helpful or have additional information please leave your COMMENTS below 🙂